September 22nd, 2008
03:15 PM ET
6 years ago

Biden strikes back at McCain over judgment

Sen. Biden took aim at McCain on foreign policy and national security Monday.
Sen. Biden took aim at McCain on foreign policy and national security Monday.

BALTIMORE, Maryland, (CNN) - One day after John McCain questioned Barack Obama’s judgment to be commander-in-chief in front of the conference of the National Guard Association, Democratic VP nominee Joe Biden came to his defense in front of the same gathering Monday, hitting McCain on foreign policy and national security.

Biden also countered John McCain’s accusation that behind Barack Obama’s views “lies the ambition to be president.”

“No one party has a monopoly on virtue or good ideas,” said Biden. “We can question each other’s judgment, that’s what elections are all about but we have to stop questioning each other’s motives and each other’s patriotism.”

“We all put ‘country first,’” he added, borrowing the McCain camp’s slogan. “When John and I send our sons to war, they don’t wear a Republican flag or a Democratic flag. They wear the American flag.”

McCain’s son Jimmy, a Marine lance corporal, has served in Iraq. Biden’s son Beau, Delaware’s attorney general and a member of the state’s National Guard, will be deploying there this fall.

Like McCain’s Sunday remarks, Biden’s lines on patriotism and the American flag got a rousing reception from the crowd. The crowd was silent during his attacks on the Republican nominee.

The senator raised eyebrows among reporters when he veered off his prepared remarks toward the end, replacing short, punchy lines ending with “John was wrong, Barack was right,” with lengthier arguments that referenced his own experience and understanding.

“Whoa!” exclaimed Biden after saying that McCain had asserted before the Iraq war that there was no history of conflict between Sunnis and Shias. “One of my problems is maybe I read too much history. There’s an overwhelming history, an overwhelming history ladies and gentlemen, 1200 years of it, of clashes between Sunnis and Shias.”

“You want to know where Bin Laden is, come back to Afghanistan with me,” he later added. “I can tell you where they are. John says he’ll follow them to the gates of hell. You don’t have to go to hell. Just go to Pakistan. Just go to that area. That superhighway of terror that exists between Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

The original text also ended with the argument that in order to have a strong military, there needs to be a strong economy. Forgoing the planned conclusion, Biden left out the news of the day and a chance to promote the plan Obama was introducing in a “major” economic speech.

Biden heaps praise on the National Guard at every campaign rally and Monday spoke glowingly of the domestic and international work the National Guard has done, and pledged to increase medical and economic support in light of increased service burdens in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Barack and I are here, we are going to set this straight,” he said.


Filed under: Joe Biden • John McCain
soundoff (214 Responses)
  1. JD in Moraga, CA

    “We all put ‘country first,’” he added, borrowing the McCain camp’s slogan. “When John and I send our sons to war, they don’t wear a Republican flag or a Democratic flag. They wear the American flag.”

    ...we should ask Caribou Barbie about that, since she doesn't wear an American flag – she wears her big old "Alaska" pin instead...

    September 22, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  2. Joe

    McCain's main argument during this election has been that Obama does not put his country first. I think the American people are starting to wake up and see McCain as another Bush-like politician. You love McCain, but you can't deny the fact that he is running a campaign predominantly based on attacking Obama. You can also say Obama attacks McCain, but if you are keen with your observation you can see that an attack from Obama usually comes right after an attack from McCain.

    September 22, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  3. Gwyn Van Winkle

    On 60 minutes, John McCain did not miss the chance to say that the longest he lived anywhere was Hanoi. I bet he has lived in that house in Arizona longer than he was in the Hanoi Hilton. He shouldn't cheapen that horrible experience by running it out there EVERY chance he gets.

    September 22, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  4. Even Sarah's voice bugs me.

    And today Mrs. Palin accused Obama's campaign of attacking her family???

    Please Sarah, do explain.

    September 22, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  5. Jazzy

    You'll never find more of a Washington insider than John McCain. It's amazing to me how so many Americans are so easily fooled and more easily led.

    VOTE OBAMA!

    September 22, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. Glenn for Obama/Biden

    To the person who said "Only people who listen to Biden are Obama followers"

    Not true...we all listen to all the presidential candidates and their running mates. I was an Independent leaning towards Obama...but McCain's pick of Palin just pushed me off the fence into his camp.

    I respect McCain...just dont want him as my president. His pick of Palin showed me nothing but political postering and a complete lack of judgement.

    I do not respect Palin views and don't get my wife started on that subject either. And frankly I'm leary of any public official who wont cooperate with an investigation concerning their office.

    If someone is going to be a heartbeat away...Biden is the only answer.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    September 22, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  7. Tyrone Brown

    Hands down that Obama can handle the economy – McCain on the other hand is confused and scrambling for answers. Obama has been sounding the alarm on deregulation and bad Bush/Republican/GOP economic policy from day one. My gut and my wallet tells me who I am voting for come November...

    ...Obama/Biden.

    Yes! We! Can! and Yes! We! Will!

    September 22, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  8. natasha in tally

    GO GET EM JOE!!! SARAH BARRACUDA MEET JOE THE SHARK!!! CAN'T WAIT FOR THE DEBATE.

    September 22, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  9. Bill Tampa

    Joe, swift, silent and deadly....You are a great choice for VP...

    bojo/08/12

    September 22, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  10. Even Sarah's voice bugs me.

    And today she accused the Obama campaign of attacking her family???

    Please Sarah, do explain.

    In any case, Biden is going to get her in the debate. Even if the rules protect her from having to debate much on Foreign Policy.

    September 22, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  11. Chris

    Why does the GOP only think they are patriotic or love this country?

    It's true our military spending goes up with them (prefer war over diplomacy) but still, does that make them "more" patriotic??

    September 22, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  12. Captain Obvious

    Way to go, Joe! Very well said!

    September 22, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  13. IT

    Go get em Joe! You tell it like it is. You make the people from Pennsylvania and Ohio proud!

    September 22, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  14. ran

    At last we the people will get an administration that is for the people and not special interest.

    Vote Obama/Biden and only Democrats and yes we can get our country back.

    September 22, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  15. Anita

    Why does McCaine not get it? Or even close to get it?

    September 22, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  16. educated Ron

    Biden is actually the best qualified to be president in regards to foreign policay and domestic issues. He is a perfect VP. Just doesn't have that charisma to be president from an election. He's the king of guy if president it would be fine with america. But america won't vote him into office on top of the ticket.

    McCain is really in the mud on this race. It started with the britneyh spears add. Then he's gone down hill.

    Biden is truly impressive, relatively untouchable. The plagarizing thing is old news.

    September 22, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  17. Old white lady for Obama

    McCain's judgement is seriously flawed, look who he selected as his running mate. So, here we have a potential VP whose qualifications are flimsy at best, and an old man who is not robust physically or intellectually. Truly an odd couple who will bring nothing but more harm to this country if elected.

    September 22, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  18. Latinos for Obama/Biden

    The blind GOP & blind McCain supporters will go down in November. They have NOTHING, NOTHING to offer Americans other than their lies and deceit.

    September 22, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  19. Former PUMA

    Thanks to this story, I just donated money to the Obama-Biden campaign. The more I listen to McCain or Palin, the less I want to hear. The more I listen Obama or Biden, the more I want to donate!!!!!

    September 22, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  20. Lacy R.

    Palin is accusing OBAMA/BIDEN of lying......lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol Iol lol lol lol I can't stoop laughing. Palin is a complete Idiot! The Republican ticket is an absolute mess.

    September 22, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  21. Mike from Calgary

    You know I USED TO RESPECT JOHN McCAIN. I USED TO GIVE HIM TH BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT. I USED TO BELIEVE THAT HE MISSPOKE AND WOULD NOT DELIBERATELY MISLEAD AND LIE. I USED TO.

    September 22, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  22. Sean

    Biden was right to respond harshly to McCain's vile claims that Obama is putting his political career before the best interests of the country. What a disgusting lie to spread.

    And frankly, if we look at the behavior of the candidates, it seems more accurate to me to say that McCain is actually the one putting his political career before the interests of the country. He's flopped his stance on Bush's tax breaks for the rich which he used to oppose, he now supports offshore drilling (which will solve nothing regardless of growing popular support for it) which he used to oppose, and he selected a running mate that is completely unqualified and would literally be a disaster for this country if McCain gets elected and has to cede the reigns of the government to his VP. But he thinks she can help him win the election, so he's willing to ignore the fact that if he gets elected, she'll be completely incapable of actually doing the job. His choice of Palin is stunning in it's self-serving nature and complete disregard for what would be best for the country.

    McCain should be ashamed of himself.

    September 22, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  23. canuck

    So tired on the Obama correct garbage ......... i was against THE WAR ALSO so i guess i can be president . Obama is diff ? Ok he is not stretching the truth and he is new and doesn't do the same old attack adds ..... and never used the race card . I DON'T GET IT .... YOU DEMS ARE SO KIND AND UNDERSTANDING .

    September 22, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Joe, did you and Barack notice the Russian military moving in ships to a certain anti-American country in South America today? You did pick up on their joint military exercises they did in Venezuela in the past couple of weeks with their air force as well. Yes? The status of our economy means nothing if the Russians decide to park their nuclear weapons on our doorsteps. What plan do you and Barack have for this incursion of Russia's military into the Americas? Thought not, nothing unless the Socialist Obama plans on inviting their military here for his inauguation. America needs a real Commander-in Chief, America needs McCain.

    September 22, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  25. Matt

    Stick a fork in McCain and Palin, they're done.

    September 22, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
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